The Manchester Evening News revealed United’s owners, the Glazer family, were prepared to hijack Ronaldo’s protracted move to Manchester City and City have since ended their interest in signing Ronaldo.

Ronaldo informed the Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri of his intention to leave the club on Thursday and United are working on a sensational homecoming for one of their greatest players.

Ferguson is understood to have reached out to Ronaldo on Friday morning after he seemed certain to join City. As of this morning, City were the only club interested in signing Ronaldo.

City coach Pep Guardiola said earlier: “Cristiano was at Juventus, I think a Juventus player. Only I can say that in three or four days left in the transfer window everything can happen.

“In my personal view there are few players, Ronaldo and Messi included, that they decide where they are going to play. They are the leading role in the negotiations. Right now I’m delighted with the squad we have and we’ll stay the same.

Cristiano Ronaldo receives Manchester United contract offer after talks with Sir Alex Ferguson

“There are many things right now that are far, far away.”

Ronaldo spent six years at United between 2003-2009, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the Club World Cup, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

The United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to rule out a late move for Ronaldo at his press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I didn’t think Cristiano was gonna turn out leaving Juventus,” Solskjaer said. “And it’s been speculation this morning and the last few days.

“We’ve always had good communication. I know Bruno [Fernandes]’s been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him. And if he was ever gonna move away from Juventus he knows we’re here.

“We focus on the ones we have there, I don’t want to speculate too much on Cristiano, what’s happening there with the press.